UPDATE: March 16, 2020
Dear SOI friends, alumni and partners,
I hope this message finds you and your family doing well during this challenging time we find ourselves in. Coronavirus (Covid-19) is having a major impact on our lives no matter where we live in the world.
Since SOI’s inaugural expedition in 2000, SOI has led more than 100 educational expeditions, conferences and events to the Arctic, Antarctic and places in between. The health and safety of our employees, our alumni, our expedition participants and the communities we visit has always been, and remains, our top priority.
As we shared on our website last Friday afternoon, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Canada’s Minister of Transport, announced that the cruise ship season for vessels with Canadian Arctic stops will be deferred for the entire 2020 season. We understand the severity of the situation, the risk to those most vulnerable, including remote communities, and SOI fully supports the Canadian Government’s position on this matter.
As a direct result of this decision, we have just been informed that the ship (Ocean Endeavour) which we were planning to use for our 2020 SOI Arctic Expedition this summer will no longer be in operation this season. The ship’s entire summer sailing schedule has been cancelled.
Students on Ice has therefore decided to postpone this summer’s Arctic expedition to next summer (2021). What does this mean? It means that all the amazing students that have been confirmed to participate on this summer’s expedition will automatically be offered a spot on our 2021 Arctic Expedition! For all our amazing expedition staff, the SOI Team will reach out to each of you over the coming weeks to discuss your individual circumstances and availability for the 2021 Arctic Expedition.
As most of you know, one of the mottos at Students on Ice is “Flexibility is the Key”! Remaining flexible has allowed us to make the most of so many incredible experiences, challenges and opportunities over the past 20 years, and this approach holds true now more than ever before. We will be exploring other exciting program opportunities in the months ahead, and will keep everyone informed as soon as we have more details to share.
Our staff will be working from home over the coming weeks, but will remain available through email and look forward to connecting with you in the coming days and weeks. Stay healthy and happy. Let’s support each other and get through this together even stronger.
In the SOI spirit,
Geoff Green, C.M.
SOI Founder, President & Expedition Leader